Salt cod is found anywhere and everywhere in Spain. And its not even a fish that is found in Spanish waters, but more than any other fish, this one is probably has the most deep rooted traditions attached to it. Cod in Spanish cuisine arrived back in medieval times, possibly discovered when Basque fisherman went to northern waters to hunt for whales. Basque legends claim they discovered Newfoundland centuries before Colombus set sail and discovered a “New World.” Today the bacalao in Spain comes mostly from fisherman from Scotland and Norway. Once a food for the poor, now bacalao is one of the luxury foods of Spain. And smoked cod is quite the delicacy. The texture is a bit grainier than smoked salmon and the mild, sweet saltiness of the cod seems to melt in your mouth. It has a flavor of the sea but not fishy.
So on your quest for bacalao ahumado you could try one of my favorite little wine bars on Cava Baja in Madrid, La Concha. They serve interesting Spanish wines by the glass and tapas that are pleasing both to the eye and palate. Below is their Canapé de Bacalao Ahumado with small (delicious) fruit for decoration, a balsamic reduction design on the plate, olive oil and paprika sprinkled over the top. A flavorful work of art!
Address: Cava Baja, 7
Tel. 91 365 0551